Israel in the Furnace

A young girl was being sold at auction one day. She was a beautiful girl, tall and slender. The bidding was keen, and quickly mounted higher and higher until at last only two men were left bidding for her ownership: the one a low, uncouth foul-mouthed fellow who raised his bi … More

Refinement

Ezekiel’s second message stressed that Jerusalem would become a furnace of affliction-a smelting furnace of judgment that would melt those who remained in it (vv. 17-19). Israel had become worthless to God, for she was dross to Him-like the scum of copper, tin, iron, and lead left inside a furnace. Metallurgy was a developed science throughout the ancient Near East (Job 28:1-11). When metals are heated in furnaces, the residue left after the pure metal is poured is the dross. To God, Israel was like dross-worthless because of her sin.

The dross was the by-product of smelting, but God was going to resmelt the dross. Much as metals are melted in a furnace, so God would gather the people inside the city and melt them. This thought is stated three times (vv. 20-22). Judah retreated to Jerusalem when Nebuchadnezzar invaded the land. The city became the crucible as God’s fiery blasts of wrath and judgment blew on the people. God’s judgment and destruction forced the people to acknowledge Him: And you will know that I the Lord have poured out My wrath upon you.

Application

As I go through the refinement process of this life I want to come out a useful vessel.

Ezekiel 22:17-22 (English Standard Version)


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